Eating Out – The Health Quotient

Being a foodie and trying to loose weight, it sounds like a bad combo. But Yours truly is sailing in that boat, trying to loose weight, in worst case, not to gain more and stay as active as I can be. And this requires me to be very careful of the portions and things I eat, well, atleast for 4 days in the week ;-).
Now there are times when you need that quick breakfast or an evening snack to get you going, and everywhere you look, you find the same fried stuff. Mind you, I am talking from perspective of very average men, and food we can eat on day to day basis. Yes, Subway is there, but somehow I don’t think it would fit an average pocket for regular consumption, and we all know about that option, so there is no point in talking about it. For past few days, I have been trying to find ways to avoid Chhole Bhature, or Poori Chhole or Kachori or Samose et al, unless I really want to have them (and that is quite often 😉 ). So what does that leave me with? My office is in Old Rajendra Nagar, and I live, lets say in the underbelly of Patel Nagar. So this would be very local to my area, however I hope some of the ideas can be ‘implemented’ wherever you live.
Talking about breakfast, there are times when you cannot eat at home or do not want to eat at home, and it always leaves me scratching my head, on what can I have without sending calorie meter in an overdrive. Now if you want to avoid  Bhature/Poori/Kachori, where does that leave you? Well, the only sensible option I was able to figure out was a South Indian Cafe in the Shanker Road Market (New Rajendra Nagar). I was there a few days back and they served a fabulous Upma with Sambar and coconut Chutney. Freshly made idly tasted heavenly at that hour as well. They had vadas on offer, however they again are fried. These guys start to serve at around 7:30 AM, and by 9 odd in the morning, they have Uthapams and Dosa ready as well. What I like is that they can make a dosa for you, without using any oil, which makes it a very healthy option. Now I am assuming that such small south Indian places are aplenty in Delhi, so you might want to find one and check when they start serving. My Breakfast of Upma and an Idli was sorted out in under 50 rupees. My quest for something different, also took me to Shudh in Karol bagh, where they have a buffet breakfast for Rs. 150 per person, however then again, buffet is not my idea of on-the-go-food, and anyhow, I found it to be very average.
Upma with Chutney and Sambar
Coming to evening snacks, I have discovered couple of decent options in my area, one being a small outlet called “Tummy Tull” (I love that name :D), near Patel Nagar Metro Station, they serve various types of rolls. I am not gonna talk about all of them here, however the one that got me interested was Double Egg Nutrine roll (as they call it). Its a roll with base coated with eggs and filled with Soy nuggets. They are quite eager to oblige any special request. So I ask them to make a roll with egg whites only and fill it up with Soy Nuggets. That works out to be a very healthy option, however I have to be carefull and keep a check on the person who makes them, as he is trigger happy when it comes to use of cooking oil in making the parantha (base). I literally have to force his hand into not putting any oil in it when he makes it for me. Grab a can of diet Pepsi, and you are all set for quite filling snack for Rs.50. Again, such roll wallas are all around Delhi, and non-vegetarians can use Chicken instead of Soy Nuggets. Just find one who is ready to oblige you, and makes yours using egg whites and minimal oil.
Last one on my list is another cafe called “No Guilt Cafe” in East Patel Market (next to Domino’s), they serve Frozen Yoghurts, and snacks targeted at health concious clientele. I have been there couple of times, and encountered over-eager but much clueless staff. It gives an impression of a wannabe chain, in which money has been invested but without any sense of taste or class (in terms of decor). However I was really surprised to have their corn and Spinach grilled sandwitch. It was made in whole wheat brown bread, grilled with almost no butter, Spinach tasted deliciously smooth and sweet corns did the balancing act against the  minute bitterness of spinach. The sandwich was just above Rs.100 including taxes, not exactly cheap, however I am not complaining. Also tried their Fruit and Nut sundae with frozen yoghurt and was disappointed by the miniscule amount of nuts and fruits in it.
Corn and Spinach Sandwish
Fruit and Nut sundae with Frozen Yoghurt
No Guilt Cafe, East Patel Nagar
This is as far as I have reached as of now, however my quest conitunes and I hope to discover more such places, where one can have a quick bite, without any guilts. On that note, would love to hear your experience of finding healthy food, do let me know if you have any recommendations / solutions.
PS : All the photos have been shot by my mobile phone, so if you found the quality to be poor, my apologies.

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Author: Shashank

CFE – Cheap Food Enthusiast Entrepreneur by birth, hippie by heart he is here just because he loves to eat. This adventurous biker is constantly looking for new avenues to satisfy his insatiable hunger for food & life. Though he loves sugar dense food, there is nothing sugar coated about him- brutally honest with his words, he often ruffles feathers with his stark naked opinions about food, fancy restaurants & orthodox ideas.